Keto Food List for Beginners – Overview
Keto food contains low carb and high-fat content. Also known as the ketogenic diet, these foods can boost your health, promote weight loss, and leave you feeling better.
Reducing your carb intake places your body in the ketosis metabolic state, increasing its ability to burn fat for energy.
The body also converts fat into ketones in your liver, generating energy for the brain.
Keto diets can reduce insulin and blood sugar levels in the human body. Read on to understand what you should include and eliminate from your keto food list for beginners.
What you Should Include in Your Keto Food List
1. Seafood and Fish
Fish contains sufficient amounts of selenium, potassium, and B vitamins. It’s also carb-free and protein-dense.
Fatty fish like mackerel, sardines, salmon, and albacore contain omega-3 fats, which promote insulin sensitivity while lowering sugar levels in the blood. Some studies suggest that regular fish intake boosts mental health while reducing the risk of incurable diseases.
Here are some of the best fish and seafood options for your keto diet.
- Bay scallops and shrimp
2. Low-Carb Vegetables
Starch-free veggies contain low amounts of carbs and calories. They are also rich in other nutrients like minerals and vitamin C.
Further, low-carb vegetables contain antioxidants that protect your body against cell-destroying free radicals. Some of the keto-friendly veggies you can consider include:
- Green beans
- Bell peppers
Cheese contains high levels of fat and zero carbs, making it an ideal option for your keto diet. It’s also calcium and protein-dense.
However, an ounce portion of cheese gives you approximately 30% of the daily saturated fat value. To prevent heart-related diseases, monitor your portions when consuming cheese.
Cheese options you can include in your keto foods list include:
- Colby jack
Avocados contain potassium and monounsaturated fats, which are friendly to the heart.
A half of a medium-sized avocado comes with 9 grams of carbs, out of which 7 grams are fiber.
Replacing animal fats with plant-based fats can help reduce your triglyceride and cholesterol levels.
One study established that people who consumed at least an avocado a day reported reduced LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol levels.
3. Poultry and Meat
Meat is a great lean protein source and is ideal for the keto diet. Fresh poultry and meat do not contain carbohydrates and are rich in B Vitamins minerals like zinc, selenium, and potassium.
While you may eat processed meats like sausages and bacon, they are not heart-friendly, and over-consumption can increase your risk of developing various cancer types.
Opt for fresh beef, fish, or chicken over processed meat.
Eggs contain sufficient B vitamins, proteins, antioxidants, and minerals. You will get 12 grams of protein and zero carbs from two eggs. Some studies suggest that eggs stimulate hormones that stabilize blood sugar levels while keeping you fuller for longer.
Eggs also contain zeaxanthin and lutein antioxidants, which help promote eye health.
While egg yolks are cholesterol-dense, eating them will hardly increase your blood cholesterol levels. Instead, they seem to adjust the size of LDL particles which protects you from the risk of heart-related diseases.
5. Cottage Cheese and Plain Greek Yogurt
Cottage cheese and plain Greek yogurts are calcium and protein-dense. While they contain some amount of carbohydrates, you can include them in your keto diet in moderation.
Each 5-ounces of plain Greek yogurt has 12 grams of protein and 5 grams of carbs.
5-ounces of cottage cheese contains 18 grams of protein and 5 grams of carbs. Studies suggest that both protein and calcium can promote feelings of fullness while decreasing appetite.
High-fat cottage cheese and yogurts keep you fuller for longer making them ideal for your keto diet high-fat.
6. Healthy Oils, Seeds, and Nuts
Seeds and nuts are rich in healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, protein, and fiber. They also contain low levels of carbs.
Coconut and olive oils are ideal for a keto diet. Coconut oil has MCTs (medium-chain triglycerides), which boost ketone production.
MCTs are said to increase your metabolic rate while promoting the loss of belly fat and weight.
Olive oil contains high oleic acid levels and helps reduce the risk of heart-related complications. Always consume your healthy fats in moderation.
Some nuts and seed options ideal for the keto diet include:
- Sesame seeds
- Pumpkin seeds
- Chia seeds
- Macadamia nuts
- Brazil nuts
Other foods you can include in your keto diet include:
- Berries like blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries
- Cocoa powder and dark chocolate
- Unsweetened tea or coffee
What to Eliminate from Your Keto Food List
Both whole and refined grains contain high amounts of carbohydrates, which can hinder your keto diet journey.
However, you can still consume them limitedly. According to keto diet experts, you should eliminate all types of grains and their by-products from your keto food list.
These grains include:
- Whole wheat flour
While some fruits are keto-friendly, others contain lots of carbs and glucose. Avoid the following fruits while on a keto diet.
Some vegetables are non-keto friendly, especially those that grow under the ground. Such veggies are carbohydrate and starch-dense.
Avoid the following veggies while on a keto diet.
- Sweet potatoes
Many of the beverages available today contain high sugar levels, which can inhibit the production of ketones in the human body. Some beverages you should avoid include:
- Protein shakes
- Fruit shakes
- Iced tea
- Vitamin water
- Energy drinks
Other foods you should avoid while on a keto diet include:
Beans and legumes like:
- Baked beans
- Black beans
- Lima beans
- Green peas
- Kidney beans
Low-fat dairy products like:
- Toned milk
- Low-fat cream
- Low-fat milkshake
- Low-fat butter
- Condensed milk
5. Artificial Sweeteners
Artificial sweeteners contain additives like acesulfame, saccharin, aspartame, and sucralose, which can trigger sugar cravings.
They are also associated with various health complications like high blood sugar and cholesterol levels and migraines.
To benefit from the keto diet, strictly follow the tricks and tips associated with it.
Consider collaborating with a dietician where possible to ensure your body is getting all the essential nutrients. The keto diet can protect your body from many health complications.
|Keto Food List for Beginners|
|Foods you can Eat||Foods to Avoid|
|Seafood and fish like mackerel, salmon, herring, tuna, oysters, bay scallops and shrimp, mahi-mahi, shellfish, and sardines||Grains like wheat, oatmeal, rice, quinoa, whole wheat flour, barley, rye, and corn|
|Low-carb vegetables like green beans, cauliflower, broccoli, zucchini, bell peppers, spinach, cabbage, asparagus, eggplant, cucumber, olives, lettuce, and tomatoes||Fruits like grapes, apples, dates, bananas, peaches, mangoes, raisins, pears, and pineapples|
|Cheese like cheddar, cream, chevre, brie, feta, goat cheese, mozzarella, camembert, colby jack, and limburger cheese||Vegetables like corn, peas, yam, carrot, sweet potatoes, and irish potatoes|
|Avocado||Beverages like soda, cola, margarita, protein shakes, fruit shakes, lemon, iced tea, vitamin water, and energy drinks|
|Meat and poultry||Beans like baked, black, and lima beans, lobia, lentils, green peas, and kidney beans.|
|Eggs||Low-fat dairy products like toned milk, low-fat milkshake, low-fat butter, and condensed milk.|
|Plain Greek yogurt and cottage cheese||Artificial sweeteners with additives like acesulfame, saccharin, aspartame, and sucralose|
|Healthy oils, seeds, and nuts like sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, walnuts, flaxseeds, pecans, pistachios, cashews, brazil nuts, almonds, and macadamia nuts|
|Berries like raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, and strawberries|
|Cocoa powder and dark chocolate|
|unsweetened tea or coffee|